Friday, September 13, 2019

10K or Bust?

The purpose of this blog is to work toward Shabbat table mastery. Please print and share.

10KIn a way, this week's question is an addendum to last week's Back to School Special.

The question is simple:

At what point does a person say, "I've learned enough, I'm ready to play" (or work, or participate - whatever the situation may be)?

For example, imagine you're learning how to be an electrician. How do you know when you're ready to take the Master Electrician Test?

I assume that everyone at your table will agree that the answer is, "When your teacher tells you that you're ready."

If that's the case, what if you don't have a teacher? What if you're learning it on your own?
What if you follow the line (that some are skeptical about), that if you practice something for 10,000 hours, you'll master it.

Is it true?

One summer in college I worked for a temp agency. Every day I was doing some sort of manual labor.

One of the gigs was at a paper factory. Do you know how copy paper comes in a ream (500 sheets), folded into a paper cover?

The job was to take reams of copy paper and fold them into this type of paper cover. That's all I did. For five hours.

With some practice, I was able to fold and tape a ream in about a minute.

The master of the operation was this wiry seventy-year-old guy named Jake. He could package a ream in about five seconds. I kid you not. Watching this man fold paper was like watching Houdini doing a card trick.

And after five hours of listening to it, I'll never forget the sound of his whistle. He whistled the same five-second tune for each ream that he packaged.

I suppose he had had his 10k hours?

But some have argued that quantity of practice is less important than quality, and that we focus on three most important qualities:

1. Create a Feedback Loop - need to know what to fix
2. Deliberate Practice - work very hard on specific skills
3. Become a Teacher - no one learns more than a teacher!

Final question for your table:

What skills do you want to master? Do you agree that qualitative practice is more important than quantitative?

Shabbat Shalom

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